Did you know June officially is the first month of the summer? On the 21st of June, we’ve had the first summer day of this year. It was on a Friday, and it couldn’t be a better start. Because the next day, we had our second BE & NL FIRE meet-up in Utrecht. We had wonderful talks and discussions and all in all had a great time. The third meeting is already being set up, and we’re making plans to grow the FIRE community throughout the Netherlands and Belgium.
My look on FIRE has been changing lately, partly due to influences of others. It isn’t only about the numbers and waiting to reach a certain goal, but about radically changing your life so you have the power to fulfill your dreams as early as possible. FIRE to me is more about creating the time and opportunities to do so. But the numbers are equally fun while being in the building phase, and I get a lot of motivation from tracking my own results and seeing progress made by others. Our goal is to build up one or more passive income streams through investing in dividend growth stocks, and hopefully, we can add real estate to that list pretty soon as well.
With every month ending, I like to disclose what our progress is. How our investments played out, and what our further plans will be. Partly to be fully open in order to be accountable, and partly because I hope to show others some inspiration, ideas or just another mindset. Let’s get to it.
It shall come as no surprise that this month again, we haven’t bought any stocks. Our portfolio still consists of the same holdings as it was 5 months ago. We stopped buying stocks for a while in order to save up the funds for our real estate investment. Mr. Divnomics and I agreed to one another that once we would hit a certain target, we would start with investing in stocks again. Because we don’t want it all go to waste on our savings account now, don’t we. We’ll this month we actually hit that target. Far sooner than anticipated, and mostly because of our luxury car we sold in April and the fat check we got through our tax return last month.
We like to buy stocks in bigger chunks of two or three thousand euro each. We do this to minimize our transaction costs as much as possible. This also means we only make a buy around once every 2 months. We won’t change this strategy from here on. What is new for now though, is that we start to additionally invest in an ETF in small amounts. The reason for this is because we chose to invest in stocks over paying off our debts early. We planned to invest the money, that got free by not paying off our debt, into a tracker, so we build up a little fund that we can use for future investments in real estate and start paying off our college debts starting 5 years from now.
But, we also found a rental property that we would buy, fitting our real estate strategy. In the coming weeks we do some further research on the property and check with our contacts at the bank how much funds we can get. If everything plays out right, then we will be rental property owners by the end of the month.
Depending on the outcome we will step into real estate this month or not. With both outcomes, we will also be adding more cash to our dividend stock portfolio in order to buy some new holding later on.
In the graph below you can really see the effect of not adding a new holding to our portfolio.
Our growth has been stagnating a bit, and the last 2 months we’ve seen an actual decrease compared to the month before. Not something that gets us excited. The fact that the euro has grown stronger against the dollar doesn’t help either. It does provide more value through higher dividend payouts, however. Our total portfolio is currently worth 45660.77 euro. Additionally, we have our 20.000 euro real estate fund that we technically don’t count as part of our portfolio, yet.
Normally I would break down the monthly income statement per company that has paid us a dividend and compare it to last year’s dividend income. But when I was adding all the numbers, I found out I haven’t got any individual numbers of 2016 anymore, shockingly. How this could happen? Well, we changed brokers a few months ago and closed our former account. On the former account, all the data was stored, which I haven’t got any access to anymore. In hindsight, I should have written it down somewhere else, but that didn’t happen. So….
I’ve got the detailed income per company from this year, and the totals of last year. Although I can’t compare them anymore as I would want to, this will have to do instead.
Our total dividend income for June rests at 155.44 euro. Which is still an amazing increase of +16% compared to last year. Of the list above, Unilever and Allergan are new additions since last year. And there have been some dividend increases from Johnson & Johnson and IBM that boosted the growth as well.
It was a bit of a quiet month all in all. No big updates, no new portfolio additions and some news on the real estate search. We’ve been active last month in several meet-ups and seminar in order to connect with other real estate investors and get to know some tips, like where to look when you want to find a good property deal.
How was your month? Found any sweet deals? Crushed some records on the investment side? Having plans to begin investing? Curious to know, so let us know in the comments!